Just more than a week since the NBA handed Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver a year-long suspension and $10 million fine, the team is for sale.
Sarver’s punishment was a result of past racist and misogynistic remarks. Prior to last week’s ruling, the league had been investigating the Suns owner for close to a year.
On Wednesday, Sarver released a statement indicating that he is “beginning the process of seeking buyers for the Suns and Mercury.”
The Mercury is Phoenix’s WNBA franchise, which is also owned by Sarver. The decision to sell follows plenty of backlash from both inside and outside of the league. NBA executive director Tamika Tremaglio said last week that Sarver should receive a lifetime ban from the league.
LeBron James opined that Sarver’s penalty wasn’t harsh enough. And reigning NBA champion Draymond Green said earlier this week that the league “definitely got it wrong,” as it relates to the Sarver punishment.
Plenty of others weighed in to crucify Sarver, but it may have been PayPal – and their checkbook – that likely forced Sarver to sell.
Last week, PayPal said it would drop the Suns sponsorship (the company has been the team’s jersey sponsor since 2018) if Sarver remained involved with the Suns organization.
Sarver Purchased The Suns For $401 Million In 2004
Though Sarver has since apologized for his comments and asked forgiveness, he feels as if he has no choice but to sell.
“…In our current unforgiving climate, it has become painfully clear that that is no longer possible – that whatever good I have done, or could still do, is outweighed by things I have said in the past. For those reasons, I am beginning the process of seeking buyers…,” Sarver’s Wednesday statement read in part.
He went on to state that he doesn’t want to be a distraction and selling both franchises “is the best course of action for everyone.”
A 2021 Forbes report valued the Phoenix Suns at $1.8 billion.
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF